With Action Bronson and ¡Mayday!
Grand Central, Miami
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Better Than: The "giggle stick."
But despite the night being hyped on weed jokes and pot worship, the group's performance was a real reminder why this OG crew of Cuban-Americans from Cali have sold 18 million albums.
Miami's own live hip-hop collective, ¡Mayday!, kicked off the night with a blast of energized rock-rap funk. The band broke the opening act barrier with ease, thanking the crowd for "rocking out" so early by "Miami standards" and asking everyone to "make it look like London fog in this motherfucker."
Regardless of how one might feel about the ¡Mayday!'s mix of hip-hop beats, rock guitar, and funky bass, the entertainment factor was undeniably strong, setting the standard pretty high for the rest of the night's performances.
As solid as ¡Mayday!'s set was done, Action Bronson rose to the occasion with a rowdy set that stole the show, even from the headliners. The Queens-based MC brought a fiery delivery, an unstoppable flow, high fives for everyone, and a big motherfucking bag of weed and papers to hand out to audience members.
Bronson understands the old punk-rock ethos of destroying the line between artist and audience: It simply works better when people feel a connection beyond gazing at the stage. As such, the formidable man performed a couple of songs from inside the crowd, reaching as far back as the sound booth to ask a young lady that was sitting down if she was tired. Rhyming over a screwed version of "Under the Sea" from the Little Mermaid was also an unexpected, should-have-been-super-uncomfortable highlight of Bronson's set.
Following a break that saw Grand Central fog out even harder (to the point of management opening the back doors of the club), Cypress Hill took the stage with B-Real, Sen Dog, DJ Muggs, and "Bobo" Correa in great form, turning up the heat aboard their smoke-powered time machine to the '90s.
As the MCs from South Gate mentioned, Miami "was a real foundation" for the group when they hit the scene, and this performance served as a "reconnection" to a fan-base that was there for Cypress Hill when Latino MCs were not yet the institution they've become. And truth be told, that reconnection was tangible, particularly during classics like "Kill a Man," "Insane in the Brain," and the medley featuring "Jump Around" and "Hits from the Bong".
As would be expected, a call to see if there were "any Cubans in the building" before a bongo-and-DJ romp brought the energy up a few more notches, where it remained for the rest of Cypress's set. While Sen Dog barked and shouted hype lines, B-Real stalked about the stage, rhyming with ease for an audience that appeared to know just about every THC-drenched lyric the man has ever penned.
Cypress Hill is responsible for some of the most distinct sounds of an era. And whether or not they retain the hype they once had, they put on a hell of a show, even if you weren't (deliberately) high.
Personal Bias: Not my usual fare, but a great time.
From the Stage: "Are you motherfuckers feeling high?! Me too!" - B-Real
Random Detail: It's all fuzzy.
Cypress Hill's Setlist
-"Get 'Em Up"
-"Hand on the Pump"
-"When the Shit Goes Down"
-"How I Could Just Kill a Man"
-"Insane in the Brain"
-"Throw Your Set in the Air/Boom Biddy Bye Bye"
-"Cock the Hammer"
-"Vato/Lick a Shot"
-"We Ain't Going Out Like That"
-"Shots Go Off"
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-"Roll It, Light It"